From 22 Nov 1998
About The Post Everlasting Series
by Phill Coleman
Twelve months ago today I was invited by a production company to view what they called "some recently photographed, spectacular" scenes of a movie to be released next year (mid-1998). The scenes were unedited, shifting from one location to another and without soundtrack. Yet, the meticulously accurate historical backgrounds and wardrobe, the expressions on the faces of the anguished and war weary soldier-actors, the horrific-simulated explosions surrounding them and the well-performed dying and death that obstructed their movements, I could see this film project, in whatever final piecing together it arrived at, would be a uniquely phenomenal depiction of war as it truly was.
Several months later many of the same scenes I had the privilege of previewing and providing my thoughts on appeared on television, complete with soundtrack. Sandwiched between toothpaste and tampon commercials these terrifying scenes announced the soon to be released Steven Spielberg film, "Saving Private Ryan".
If nothing more, the singlemost impact I received from my November, 1997 privilege was that this film was not to be like so many others that honored a general, a statesman or world leader for his contributions during World War II. "Ryan" would honor the "little guy", the unknown soldier... one among millions of America boys called from the cities and towns across America... one whose name would otherwise never be heard or known by anyone. 'Private Ryan' was to be a story about the common soldier... a name that would be known by a new generation of grateful Americans who would come to graphically understand the human cost of democracy and freedom.
It was because of this singular aspect of the film... giving a name and a face to the "little guy"... that it was decided to establish a series of Honorable mentions to be titled: "To Post Everlasting". We felt that by further publicizing the names and lives of the men and women who served during World War II (some who later went on to serve in Korea and Vietnam) we might pay our respects to the sacrifices and ordeals they miraculously survived, though not all full-bodied. I contacted the production office with the idea. They applauded it. Within a few days the "Post Everlasting" series began. Today it continues by honoring our Nation's best from all wars.
A young Vietnam veteran once said about a certain Wall in Washington he built: "...it's the names... it's the names" that makes war and its human loss forever memorable. Through the "Post Everlasting" series we hope to memorialize the names of Americans who served our Country. Just as many young Americans are inspired after seeing "Private Ryan" to research their family's military history, generations from now a grandchild or great-grandchild of today's/tomorrow's veterans will seek to find their ancestor's name among the millions of website or newsgroup pages. Our continuing "Post Everlasting" series will ensure that some names that would otherwise go unseen will be found.
The children of tomorrow who aspire to become generals, or governors, senators or even president will have a reference of pride and appreciation in the Post Everlasting series knowing that someone cared enough to preserve their ancestor's good name, and his or her everlasting contribution to America.
For those of you who post in our newsgroups we hope that the children of your children will take pride in the lasting legacy you leave them with your published words. Our words will always Honor our soldiers.
-- Phill Coleman